Another transfer has gone by! Quickly, and yet, not so quickly....
I am staying in Ravenna Park for another transfer, but I have a new companion! Elder Griffiths. I have only known him for about 1 hour but I like him. He seems to have a great personality and sense of humor. I'm hopefully optimistic about what the future has in store for me, my companion, and this area.
Transfers are stressful. I really dislike them, but they happen no matter what!
Last week went by really quickly and some interesting things happened.
Miracles! On Thursday, we were walking back to the apartment for dinner when we were stopped by a gentleman driving a car. He was a less active we had been in contact with back in November, that wanted his family to get re-involved in church. We lost contact with them for two months! No one could get them to answer their phones and their address was unknown. We were so excited that he found us!
Unfortunately, our appointment fell through yesterday. Hopefully we can follow up and they don't disappear again.
Saturday was an extremely tiring day. In the morning, Elder Hillman and I helped the McKells move out of their apartment. I learned from Brother McKell's father that his daughter is now a teacher in Duchesne County School District and is married to Randall Evans from the DCSD technology apartment. Crazy small world!
After we helped the McKells move, it was our turn to move ourselves. We live in an apartment complex and the neighbors below us complained enough about us walking around in the morning, that our apartment manager asked if we could switch with them. Since we are missionaries, and we're charitable, we consented. :) Our neighbors are Brazilian, really nice, and helpful. We spent the rest of our Saturday cleaning, packing, moving, and cleaning some more! By the end of the day, we were both very tired.
The new apartment has its pros and cons though. Luckily, more pros than cons. Pros:
practically unlimited hot water, where as before we had almost none.
The new apartment is on the ground level. No more stairs!
I'ts closer to the laundry room
We have a new dishwasher
the walls are beautiful shades of green, blue, and gray!
WE HAVE CARPET! Carpet just makes everything feel so much better (especially during prayers)
The floor above us does creak really loudly when the neighbors walk across it, but it's something I can live with.
I also heard rumor that iPads are coming to this mission before the end of March. Here's to hoping!
Nothing much else exciting happened this week! I'm ready for another week.
On Tuesday we had district meetings. Elder Zhao did a great job. Then we were finally able to meet with Nick! He has been out of town and told us he needed some space so we haven't seen him in over a month. He is a tricky investigator. He is progressing, just very slowly... Enough not to drop him. Then Elder Hillman and I spent the rest of the day at the dentist getting his tooth fixed. He broke a cusp on his tooth somehow and had to visit the dentist to get a consultation and a cleaning. I'm sure we'll be going back soon enough!
Wednesday we got to do service! And (I would say most importantly but of course, service for others is more important) I got to wear normal clothing! Hooray for jeans! We spent a lot of time putting away Christmas decorations and breaking branches off of a tree. It was my job to break the branches so that they fit in the, get this, food and yard trash bin! This concept is so crazy to me! I can barely wrap my head around the concept of recycling but not having a burn pile that you stick tree branches in is CRAZY to me! That's the difference between Altamont and Seattle. Correction. One of the many differences.
Thursday was weekly planning and contacting and setting up appointments for the rest of our week.
Friday was pretty much the same! Nothing much exciting happened this week. Especially in comparison to the bird pooping on my head.
Saturday was fun though! It rained practically all day. We had an awesome member lunch and then met with another slowly progressing investigator. It was a good meeting though!
The Zone Leaders stopped by Saturday night and talked with us about how we are doing and etc. Then we went on mini exchanges and I went contacting with Elder Smith down by 55th and we met some very interesting people! I scared on poor kid to death when I tried to talk to him, he took off running! We talked to a couple of intoxicated individuals and a guy wearing a kilt! I love people so much!
The entire time we were contacting it was raining. We can't exactly contact people wearing our hoods or it looks really suspicious so we usually take them off. It was raining enough that we just gave up putting them back on. We were so wet!
Sunday was alright but there was no one at church and anyone who was at church was too distracted because the Seahawks were playing. It was crazy! And unfortunately, they won.... Oh well!
Well this week has been a VERY long one. For some reason the time has not gone by quickly at all.
One very exciting thing happened (and by exciting I mean interesting)! I got pooped on by a crow. That's right! You read that correctly. Just keep Reading!
Tuesday we had a zone conference at the mission office in Bellevue. Every zone in the mission set goals for the coming year. Seattle North Zone's baptismal goal is 188. The Mission's baptismal goal is 1,042. It was a very powerful and spiritual meeting.
Wednesday was the day that the dirty deed happened.
We were admiring a very elaborately colored woodpecker when it happened. The crow must have been very jealous. I felt something hit the crown of my head and instinctively reached up to brush- whatever was on my head- off. I thought perhaps it was a stick or leaf. It was not..... it was crow poop. SO we walked back to the apartment and I took a very hot shower!
Thursday was just another day.
Friday we went on exchanges with our district leader and his companion. Elder Hillman went to Red Square with Elder Barney and I stayed in Ravenna and Elder Zhao (our chinese district leader) came with me! We tracted all day long. We taught a lot of other lessons but have no new investigators unfortunately. I LOVE Elder Zhao. I learned so much from him; how to be excited, love life, and exuberant.
Saturday we re-exchanged. Had lunch, and spent the day around our area recovering items that Elder Hillman had left places on exchange:)
Sunday was the same as usual except that our investigator didn't come to church for some unknown reason! The bishop and his wife fed us last night and the food was excellent! Very much home style cooking I've grown to love. The Every's are amazing people and so willing to help anyone.
The reason I am emailing later that usual today is because we had a mission walk around Green Lake in Woodland Park. The walk started at 10:30 AM and lasted an hour or so. Lovely weather and excellent company made for a great time.
I can't believe that it is already 2015! It seems like yesterday I was setting new goals and resolutions for 2014. I sincerely hope that 2015 flies by just as quickly!
This week has been fun and a little slow though.
Monday a member took us to lunch after we emailed. We had Korean food and...... it was alright. Definitely not my favorite! I ate squid though. Very interesting.
On Tuesday we had a surprise "Special Zone Training". It was a much needed training and discussion for everyone in our zone. The mission seems to really be struggling lately and we were all able to learn from the training.
Wednesday and Thursday were spent tracting and contacting potentials. We found a new investigator while tracting. We have a lesson set up with him tomorrow. Hopefully it goes through.
Nothing else exciting happened on New Year's Eve. We had to be in the apartment by 6 PM on New Year's Eve and apparently atmidnight the city set off fireworks! I never even heard them! Elder Hillman said they woke him up rather promptly. I have discovered that I am a much deeper sleeper than I previously thought. Missionary work is tiring stuff!
On New Year's Day we had dinner with the Binks! A nice couple from Utah. And yes, they are related to coach Binks from Union! Small world after all!
Friday I had my first "bad" experience as a missionary. We passed a lady on the street and kindly wished her a Happy New Year. She glared at us and told us to "keep it to ourselves!" And kept walking. It truly was a minor experience but it left me somewhat shaken. I just couldn't believe that people would act that way to anyone! But that's just my naive small-town, home-grown kid coming out.
Saturday was really fun! We were able to help the stake young men and young women with a service project. The stake rents a chipper and trucks to haul trees in. They drive around and pick up Christmas trees people are trying to get rid of. The people send a donation in the mail or hand it to us as we pick up the trees. The trees are then chipped and used as plant food, bedding, and pathway linings for the park in the Thornton Creek area. A genious idea!
After the service project we changed and headed to a lesson with another new investigator, Eddy. Eddy's wife and kids are members but he isn't. They have a goal to get married in the temple next year! They are from Nicaragua but speak fluent english. I REALLY wish that I spoke Spanish! It would be so useful!
Nothing much exciting happened yesterday either! Just another week!
I survived Christmas:) And what a wonderful Christmas it was.
The rest of the week pales in comparison so I will mainly focus on Christmas and what happened after.
Christmas Eve Elder Hillman and I were able to have dinner with President Biehl (1st counselor in the Stake Presidency) and his family. We then returned to our apartment and did weekly planning. At about 9:00 PM the zone leaders arrived at our apartment with 5 packages for me! I cheated and opened them on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day but only because I knew Christmas day would be kind of crazy.
Christmas day started like any other day in the mission: Excercise, breakfast, and then studies. At 11:00 AM Bishop Every came and picked us up so we could have brunch at his house. It was a lovely brunch after which we opened presents bishop and his wife got us. I received a very nice tie and a box of my favorite cereal (Frosted Mini-Wheats) with a gift card to Safeway on it! Missionaries love free groceries:) Then we got to Skype home!!! It was fantastic to see how well everyone is doing.
After Skype we drove with the Washington Park Elders to see the "Fremont Troll". It is this giant cement troll under the (I presume) Fremont bridge. Very interesting. The rest of our day was spent mostly relaxing because it was technically P-Day (Which I dislike very much but I am trying to be positive about mission rules:)
Friday was a normal day but Elder Hillman felt ill most of the day.
Saturday morning I awoke to find a very ill Elder Hillman in the bathroom. He had been "sick" all night long and I never even heard him. Needless to say, we spent all day Saturday in the apartment. I read and slept and cleaned (and sanitized EVERYTHING) and wrote letters and journaled some. I also made Elder Hillman some tea that members brought over to help him feel better. He informed me that my wife will love me very much someday. I'm very ok with that!
Yesterday Elder Hillman was feeling up to it so, we went to church! Then, last night, was the monthly member missionary fireside. It was at the Seattle Stake Center in Burien. All of the missionaries were part of a choir and we sang "Away in a Manger" and "Silent Night". Very powerful and spiritual songs!
The work keeps progressing. I love you all! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!